20 Songs, 1 Hour 3 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the highly collaborative world of '10s rap, Russ is an unusual case: not only does he rap every bar and sing every hook on There’s Really A Wolf, but he produced the tracks too. Built on a string of hit singles (including “What They Want” and “Losin Control”), Wolf is an album of unusual range, mixing trap (“Do It Myself”) and Caribbean-flavored pop (“Don’t Lie”) with music that straddles the line between hip-hop and something like Coldplay (“Cherry Hill”)—a strong, unique vision.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the highly collaborative world of '10s rap, Russ is an unusual case: not only does he rap every bar and sing every hook on There’s Really A Wolf, but he produced the tracks too. Built on a string of hit singles (including “What They Want” and “Losin Control”), Wolf is an album of unusual range, mixing trap (“Do It Myself”) and Caribbean-flavored pop (“Don’t Lie”) with music that straddles the line between hip-hop and something like Coldplay (“Cherry Hill”)—a strong, unique vision.

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About Russ

A self-made multi-talent who started out giving his music away online, Russ is nothing if not a product of his times. The Atlanta-bred artist (born Russell Vitale in 1992) wrote, rapped, sang, and produced nearly a dozen free—and mostly feature-free—albums between 2011 and 2014, before inking a deal with Columbia Records. It’s a work ethic that not only earned him a loyal fan base, but also the freedom to explore his sound on his own terms. There’s Really a Wolf, from 2017, established him as a strong new voice in the mainstream, blending trap beats with atmospheric R&B and live instrumentation (played, of course, by Russ), introspection (“Scared,” “Losin Control”), and extroversion (“Me You,” “One More Shot”). Stickiest of all is Russ’ natural sense of melody—a quality that comes through both in his beats and his sing-song flow. Speaking to Beats 1’s Zane Lowe just before the release of 2018's Zoo, Russ railed against the superficiality of the industry surrounding his art: “So I’ve got to go to this event just to fake the funk just so that they might give me a look?” he said. “It’s like, ‘Come on, bro. Can’t we just make music?'”

HOMETOWN
Secaucus, NJ
BORN
September 26, 1992

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